Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has a unique focus on helping communities reach their full health potential. This includes delivering on our mission, whenever possible. In May of 2017 at our one-day business-to-business conference, nine opposing client cycling teams competed to win a total of $5,000 to a charity of their choice. We conceived this creative way to engage clients in giving back through two simultaneous competitions – most miles ridden for the duration of the bike challenge and most social media engagement. 2017 marked the third annual Bike Challenge, and this popular charity event is sure to continue in the years to come.
The two winning client teams (Pentair and Anoka County) donated their winnings to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and Family Promise in Anoka County respectively. Both charities support initiatives helping people facing great disparities. From increasing access to healthy food and make active living easier, to providing assistance to families experiencing homelessness, it is the goal of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota to help. The opportunity to support our clients and their charities of choice is just one small step towards making a healthy difference in their lives — the places we live, learn, work and play — have a significant impact on how we live our daily lives.
At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, our mission is to make a healthy difference in people's lives, not just for our members, but for all Minnesotans. In May 2017, we leveraged our annual client event to do just that with the blue Bike Challenge. This high-energy and social worthy stationary bike race challenges teams to compete for the most miles and the most social posts and shares through hashtags representing the participating client team and "bluebike" i.e. #AnokaCountybluebike, to win up to $5,000 for their favorite charity. Planning for this year's event started in October of 2016 and involved coordinating with many departments and individuals both internal and external to Blue Cross.
Nine teams of seven riders (63 people) competed for the charitable donations. While the miles were adding up, the energy of the Bike Challenge not only spread throughout the venue, but spectators and competitors took to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Attendees got in on the action by supporting their favorite team and charity with hashtags and a geo-targeted photo filter. Social points were registered by numbers and counted by Blue Cross during the event. Keeping the energy up was key to a successful experience for riders and attendees, so a bike coach and DJ were brought on site. To further boost brand presence, Blue Cross provided riders with branded items, such as cycling jerseys, towels, stretch bands and yoga mats. Overall, the Bike Challenge was an event focused on the deeper experience from top to bottom – all the while giving back to the community.
Companies that organized teams included: Allina Health, Anoka County, Blue Cross, Buffalo Wild Wings, Gander Mountain, Land O'Lakes, Lutheran Social Services, Pentair, Sleep Number and Willis Towers Watson.